Rafael Nadal says tennis should 'wait a little bit more' before restarting

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Rafael Nadal says tennis should 'wait a little bit more' before restarting

Rafael Nadal says tennis should set a positive example to the rest of society, and “wait a little bit” before resuming competition.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion does not think tournaments should restart until every single player is able to travel freely and safely.

No tour events will be staged until the end of July – at the very earliest.

And the Spaniard says he currently has little desire to travel to New York in August to defend his US Open title.

“If you asked me if I want to travel to New York today to play a tennis tournament, I will say no – I will not,” Nadal, 34, told reporters at a time when the French Open should have been reaching a climax.

“But in a couple of months, I don’t know how the situation is going to improve. I am confident that if the tournament is played, it’s going to be under extremely safe circumstances. If not, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense.”

The US Tennis Association is expected to decide later this month whether it will be possible to stage the US Open – behind closed doors – from 31 August.

“My feeling is we need to be responsible, sending strong messages, and be a positive example for the society,” Nadal continued.

“We need to understand we are suffering an unprecedented situation and my feeling is we need to come back when all the players, from all the countries of the world, are able to travel under safe circumstances. I want to see my sport being 100% fair and correct.

“The key, of course, is to find a medicine that helps us to be sure we can travel and compete without being scared of having the virus and bringing back the virus home. My feeling is we need to wait a little bit more.”

Nadal also revealed he is only gradually returning to training, having not picked up a racquet for two and a half months.

“As you can imagine, I need to take things step by step,” he said.

“I just try to avoid injuries and increase the amount of work every single week. I’m not practising every single day, I’m just practising a couple of days a week.”

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